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Fic: Five Lies Sam Told Dean (or Sam Winchester Apologetics)

February 6th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

Title:  Five Lies Sam told Dean (or Sam Winchester Apologetics)

Summary:  Maybe all those truths are forgivable, maybe not, but he still leads off with a lie, which might condemn him more than anything else.

A/N:  Last night was a difficult ep, so this is how I’m dealing with it.  I’m sure people will disagree but I’m okay with that.  This was written fast and beta’ed fast, so if there’s still mistakes, I apologize.  But I wanted to get this up before I lost my nerve (or turned off this show altogether--whichever came first).  geminigrl11  gave this a beta, but I played with it afterward, so I take full responsibility.  LJ doesn't like me so I don't think my italics are in the fic, but hopefully it'll still make sense.  I tried to catch a few.

Disclaimer:  Not mine



It’s not hard to hide things from Dean.

His brother sleeps hard and deep now, weighed down by things Sam can only imagine.  Where his brother was once vigilant, he is lax, now.  Sam starts taking the bed by the door and Dean hardly notices.  Six months ago, he would have at least taken this call outside, but now, Sam doesn’t see the point.

Besides, Dean needs someone to look out for him.  Sam being there, Sam finding Lilith--those are the only two things that matter now, and Sam will do them both for as long as he can.  The day is coming, Sam knows, when one will trump the other, but Dean will never understand why, so Sam doesn’t figure he needs to know yet.

And he can’t blame Dean.  After all, forty years in hell and Sam would have been a whole lot worse off.  Hell, four months on earth and Sam sort of feels like he’s barely recognizable anymore.

He does what he has to.  So when Dean wakes up, groggy-eyed and mumbling, Sam doesn’t tell him about the phone calls, the secret meetings, the hunts that Ruby is checking out.  After all, if everything goes the way Sam hopes, Dean might never have to know.

When Dean asks what he’s been up to, Sam says nothing, which is about as far from the truth as he can get, but Sam’s just glad that Dean might have one more day of ignorance.


Sam already knows it was a mistake.

Sleeping with the doctor in the middle of a case.  He has to focus during cases, they both do.  It’s an unspoken rule.  They can have their fun, but they have to have it at the right times.

And the fact that there’s a siren on the loose?

Doesn’t really occur to Sam until afterwards.

Dean figures it out the second they talk.  Like his brother’s been waiting for him to screw up, to screw off--with another monster, no less.

Lying makes him feel like a petulant teenager, but there’s no way he can tell the truth.  No way he can explain to Dean that he did it to feel alive, to feel something, anything.   His life is all pain and work and grief, and one night of sex--

Well, it’s just proof that Sam may be human after all.

It’s also Dean who points out the track record.  Madison, Ruby, the doctor.

Werewolf, demon, siren.

He wishes he could lie his way out of that part, but Dean’s telling the truth, and Sam sort of wishes there was some way to change it, some way to change the scorn in his brother voice, but Sam can’t help but think he’s earned that much.


Dean knows about Ruby.

He knows about the sneaking around, the lying.

Sam should have seen that coming, but he’s too far in it, and he sort of needed to believe that he could have his cake and eat it, too.  That he could hunt Lilith and stay with Dean and that Dean didn’t have to be hurt by it, not yet, anyway.

Dean’s apparently not going to believe it.  He tells Sam that he’s changed, that he’s different, and that he can’t trust Sam anymore.

Sam tries to deny it, almost out of reflex, but Dean’s right.  He’s right, just like always, and as long as they’re being honest, Sam may as well make it count.

It’s funny, though, the one lie he starts to tell, the one thing he tries to deny, and all the other things were true.

Because Dean is holding him back, keeping him from completing that one thing that really matters, from finding Lilith, from killing her.  She’s the key, she’s the thing standing between them and a happy ending.  If Sam can stop her, then Sam can give Dean the one thing left that matters, the one thing he’s failed at.  Because Dean doesn’t deserve bloody and sad, he’s already had bloody and sad, and Sam needs to give him something more and sometimes Sam feels like the one thing standing in the way of that is Dean himself.

And it’s true: Dean is weak.  It took forty years, but hell broke his brother, broke him and left him shell-shocked and incomplete.  Sam believes that Dean can overcome that, he does, but not right now.  Not like this.  And it’s never scared Sam so much than to see that weakness in Dean, and to know it’s a weakness for them both.

Hell--Sam’s so tired of hell.  He’s tired of Dean’s revelations.  He’s tired of knowing about the torture, the endless, painful torture.  The rack and the souls and his brother holding out for thirty years.  It’s all Sam can see, though, when he looks at Dean: the torture that still isn’t over.  He’s tired of seeing his failure, reliving it with every moment he’s with Dean, of knowing that this is his fault.  The guilt is so pervasive, so real and encompassing, that sometimes Sam just wants to scream at Dean to shut up, to shut the hell up, before Sam takes a gun to his own head to put an end to it.

Smarter and stronger, Sam means that, too.  Because he’s the one who can see what needs to be done.  He knows what it takes to end this.  He sees that some losses are acceptable, that some compromises must be made.  He understands that the endgame is the important part, and that everything else is just treating symptoms and not the disease.

And Dean can kick his ass any day of the week, Sam never doubted that, but physical prowess is not the strength that matters.  Not in this fight.  Not when there are demons and the apocalypse and someone has to be willing to fight dirty to win.  Dean’s proven he can’t do it.  Hell, Dean’s proven he can’t go near demons at all, and Sam can’t blame him.  Which is why Sam does what he does.  So Dean won’t have to.

Maybe all those truths are forgivable, maybe not, but he still leads off with a lie, which might condemn him more than anything else.


Bobby asks if they’re alright, and Sam remembers what he said, he remembers how harsh the words sounded, how all the truths came out in the worst possible ways, and how Dean probably remembers them, too.

That breaks Sam’s heart a little, but he’s already resolved to live with that.  Ends and means, just the ends and the means.

But Sam remembers what Dean said, too.  About Sam being different, about not trusting him, about wanting his brother back.  Of course, Sam can hardly fault Dean for that; it’s not like those things are news to Sam.  But he wanted to spare Dean a lot of this.  Wanted to believe that, in the end, Dean would understand, Dean would forgive him, that in the long years of Dean’s life, his brother would come to see the sacrifice was all Sam had left to give.

Alright--definitely not.  But as long as Dean’s alive, Sam can work with what he has and lie about the rest.


Usually, he lies under compulsion, when someone wants the truth and Sam can’t ignore them but knows they’re better off without it.  He lies out of necessity, short and simple fabrications, made up on the spur of the moment.

But Dean needs something, Dean deserves something.  With the burden of hell, the loss of faith in Sam, and self worth issues that will just not go away, Sam knows that what was said was bad, damaging.  And even if most of them were true, Sam never meant them the way Dean took them.  Sam’s resolved himself to his task at any cost, but if he can ease Dean’s weight in the short term, he will.

So, he lies.  Says he didn’t mean it, because for all the ways it was true, there were just as many ways that is just wasn’t.  Truth is relative, Sam has learned, there are no absolutes, not now, not ever.  Dean just needs to know the good things, the bright side, the silver lining.  It may be a lie, but Sam’s told worse ones in the last few days.

And the truth that he wants to cling to, the flip side to the starkness of his honesty last night, is this:  Dean’s the only good thing in his life, not holding him back, but providing the only meaning Sam can muster.  Dean’s not weak or stupid, he’s the strongest man Sam knows.  Forty years in hell strong, and he just wishes Dean could see it, too.

But there is no way to explain it to Dean, to tell him what parts were true and what parts weren’t, without giving it all away, and that’s a risk Sam can’t take right now.  Not now.  Not when he’s getting closer, not when Dean needs his happy ending more than ever before.

So Dean can’t know just how true it all was.  Just how much Sam will sacrifice, just how far Sam will go.  That Sam will lie and cheat and steal.  He’ll defy angels and confront demons.  He’ll give up every good thing in himself, every dream he’s ever had, to save Dean.

And if that’s not worth a lie, Sam doesn’t know what is.


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Posted by: Ada (ada_c_eliana)
Posted at: February 6th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Sam knife

Thank you so much for posting this!! After last night's episode and the following Sam-bashing I was hesitant to read anything. But this... this is great. Because Sam's not some heartless bastard, he has his reasons for what he's doing, and they're good reasons. I liked the bit about Sam wanting to blow his brains out over the images of Dean in Hell. Every time Dean confesses more all I can think of is how much more guilty each admission must make Sam feel - and he would never have wanted Dean to make the deal in the first place.

Anyway, lovely oneshot, and just what I needed today. Great job!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)

Sam bashing makes me SO sad. And honestly, it's probably the reason why I wish I was done with this show the most. It's sort of weird how much it actually hurts to hear.

I think I will always see Sam sympathetically, though. He's my boy and he needs some fans it seems :)

And I agree--he's got good reasons even if they're a little wacky. I don't think Sam's all in his right mind right now.


Posted by: Zahz (zahz87)
Posted at: February 6th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)

I dont know how i found you but i did. And god this was just brilliant. You put into words so beautifully written what i've been struggling in my head to understand and make sence.

Just brilliant.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
bloody mess

I'm glad you found it then! And even more glad you liked it :)

Posted by: piratelf (piratelf)
Posted at: February 6th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)

Last night's episode was painful!

This helps!

Thank you so much!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
adorable dean

That ep was hard to take. I'm glad this helped you (it helped me writing it!).

Posted by: Dani (pinkphoenix1985)
Posted at: February 6th, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)

this is brilliant!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
more puppy


Posted by: Not Quite by Firelight (tahirire)
Posted at: February 7th, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
You broke me


If I quoted everything I agreed with, I'd quote it all.

OH, BOYS. *sobs*


Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)
behold the limp

Aw, thanks for the review and the recc! Sam girls needed something after that ep :)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC)

I'm glad it worked for you :)

Posted by: ErinRua (erinrua)
Posted at: February 7th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)

This. Absolutely, every word this.

And this especially: Which is why Sam does what he does. So Dean won’t have to.
I never thought of it that way ... but it makes a terrible, bitter sense. Sam is the protector now, not Dean, the aggressor even more than Dean, and I've noticed that. But you've hit the nail on the head here, I think.

And finally this:
He’ll give up every good thing in himself, every dream he’s ever had, to save Dean.
I wonder. It's clear Sam wants OUT. He wants DONE. He's abruptly reached the point of This Ends Now, and he doesn't want to be doing this job when he's sixty. What I'm not sure about is if he even intends to live that long. If he even intends to survive this war. Because even while he's now clearly broadcasting that he wants to be done with all of it, he's picking a helluva self-destructive way to go about it.

I love when fic and meta collide so very brilliantly as this. Thank you for writing and sharing this, at a time when Sam is the greatest enigma of all.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
bruised sam

I don't think Dean's even aware of Sam's slow role reversal here, nor do I think Dean's actually aware that Sam's not trying to hurt Dean. Sam's just trying to make something work in his life because nothing else has. To me, I think Sam's failed and lost so many times, that he NEEDS out. He will do anything for it. To him, I'm not sure there's much thought of what comes after, just that he has to get there. Personally, I don't think him living that long is actually something he cares about anymore. I'm not sure Sam's really given a crap about himself since the day Dean died. Worse, I don't think Dean has opened his eyes to see it, which is going to lead to conflict where there should be compassion and intervention.

We'll see, though. I just hope the show doesn't neglect the losses that have affected Sam's humanity so profoundly while setting up their endgame.


Posted by: ErinRua (erinrua)
Posted at: February 18th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: monicawoe (monicawoe)
Posted at: February 7th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)

Wow! This is breathtaking!

Thank you : )

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)

Very glad you liked it :) Thanks!

Posted by: May Robinson (may7fic)
Posted at: February 7th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)

Gorgeous effort. The meta is thought-provoking and woven wonderfully into each of these snippets. It's frightening just how much of John I see in this Sam, the driven/reached-his-threshold John who fully expected not to come out of the fight alive. Though I hope and believe the boys will come through the ever widening rift that's opened up between them, the ride is going to be damn painful for all of us. You've captured that here and thank-you for sharing it.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)

I hope that in the aftermath, Dean can let go of his hurt and resentment over what Sam said to him and realize that his brother needs his help so badly. To me, it looks like Sam's falling apart in every way possible and right now, there's no one there to catch him except Ruby, which doesn't seem to be a good thing.

Thanks :)

Posted by: fannishliss (fannishliss)
Posted at: February 7th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)

This is so right, the way that Sam was telling the truth about what he said, but how it wasn't the whole truth. and I really do agree that his going after Lilith by himself (behind Dean's back) is in big part an attempt to protect Dean -- also because Dean is aligned with the Angels in the condemnation of Sam using his demon powers. Now, if we only knew what it IS about the powers that is so dangerous!

great story, i came over on a link from Tahiri, thanks so much for this!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
broken together

To me, that's what the siren did. It forced its victims to fixate on the most negative aspect of the truth and turn it into something it is but isn't. Unless of course we believe that husband at the beginning really secretly did want to kill his wife for making plans without him...

I also think that going after Lilith is the last thing Sam has. Sam needs to do something RIGHT after his long line of failures. Emotionally, he's stuck on that point and in some ways, I'm not sure he can even see it (and sadly, I'm pretty sure Dean can't either).

Anyway, glad you liked it :)

Posted by: maychorian (maychorian)
Posted at: February 8th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
Sam light flare

This felt very true to me. This is what I believe about Sam. He's willing to betray the person he used to be--to lie and kill and follow his demon power wherever it goes--but all in effort to save Dean, make things better for Dean. Bravo.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)

At this point, I don't think Sam even knows who he is anymore or who he was before all this happened. He seems to be trying to make things right by Dean and for Dean, even if that comes at the expense of Dean's trust and feelings (which, is so very Winchester).

And I have to say, I'm rather fascinated by your icon. Cool effect.

Thanks :)

Posted by: moodswingers (moodswingers)
Posted at: February 8th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)

The role reversal, the guilt, the lies - you've done an awesome job in putting all this into perspective and shed a very realistic light on Sam's thought process.

Very well done. I love meta in fic disguise. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
more brothers

I wasn't even trying to write a meta--I just wanted to make sense of the ep before I imploded.

Thanks :)

Posted by: orehime (orehime)
Posted at: February 8th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)

YESYES! THIS! This is exactly what I imagine Sam is thinking. Poor Sammy!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
lost innocence

Poor Sam indeed! He really needs someone to see how badly he's falling apart.


Posted by: Becky (ewanspotter)
Posted at: February 8th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
SPN Devil Sam

Oh, geeze. Those last few lines. Perfection.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)

So glad you liked it :) Thanks!

Posted by: Angie (sionell8)
Posted at: February 8th, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
torchwood grieving

Oh Sammy!

I can't tell you how much I am wishing this is true.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: February 17th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
meta limp

If it's not true, I'm not sure I want to know :)


42 Read Comments
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